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Portugal on and off road North to Center (ACT Portugal)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Scooterpt, Jun 29, 2020.

  1. Scooterpt

    Scooterpt GS 800 Adv

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Oddometer:
    20
    Location:
    Lisbon, Portugal
    A couple of weeks ago I did the first 3 days of the 5 day ACT Portugal from Touratech, its basically a set of gpx files that are maintained by the folks at touratech, with a north to south crossing of Portugal at around 50/60% offroad

    https://www.adventurecountrytracks.com/portfolio/act-portugal/

    So I went with 3 friend, I did the first 3 days from Bragança to Alamal with the group, and then headed home, half of the groupd did the whole 5 days (I'll being doing the other 2 later this year)

    First day we made our way up from Lisbon to Bragança to the starting point, I had wanted to do a road starting at Freixo Espada a Cinta for a very long time, and it did not disappoint:

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    Ended up staying at a camping site located just north of Bragança (it was recommended on the ACT website)

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    ACT Day 1
    First thing the next morning we went to the starting point of the gpx track, and that is the Bragança Castle:
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    While the first day is only 187kms, I would say the first day is probably the most technical, a lot of jagged and loose rocks, some big uphills and bigger downhills, but also a lot of nice places to visit:

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    I took my first fall right after climbing up this mountain, the descend was very loose and bigger rocks, and as soon as the bike stopped I was in a bit of trouble, tipped over twice here, the rest of the day while technical was manageable. Also a lot of dust on this first sunny and dry day

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    We ended day one in Torre de Monecorvo, were we were lucky yo find a place that had, besides a warn shower, a nice garage for the bikes:
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    I'll continue this tomorrow ;)
    #1
  2. Dessert Storm

    Dessert Storm Dances With Drunks

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,125
    Location:
    On the cut
    Great report and photos! Thanks for posting :clap
    #2
    Scooterpt likes this.
  3. Folly1

    Folly1 Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    May 11, 2014
    Oddometer:
    797
    Location:
    Charleston, SC : Bath, Me
    Ditto. Good job. I am looking forward to the continuation. Thanks for making the effort.

    I spent about 10 days in Portugal around 1995 and really enjoyed it. Beautiful country and great food.

    Ben.
    #3
  4. Scooterpt

    Scooterpt GS 800 Adv

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Oddometer:
    20
    Location:
    Lisbon, Portugal
    Did someone say great food?

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    :D

    Day 2 we started in Torre de Moncorvo, and the objective was going to Serra da Estrela (highest peak in continental Portugal)
    So we rode out and as soon as me hit the trail a mate got a flat that was resolved quickly
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    Most of the views from day 2 were of the Douro valley
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    This is one of the tracks markes as "optional", well worth seeing
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    "Bent" stone:
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    And this day was cut short as it started raining heavily in the afternoon, so we decided to not risk doing the offroad bits as it was mostly mountainside dirt (mud) tracks and some clay as well, we headed straight to Serra da Estrela, via Penhas da Saude

    Went from 20 to 4º weather in the ascend
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    Ended up staying at the Youth Hostel
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    Had a great dinner and slept well!

    More to come ;)
    #4
  5. BristolDSer

    BristolDSer Brit riding a KTM 1050 Adventure

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2015
    Oddometer:
    91
    Location:
    Bristol
    Thanks for your reports, inspiring stuff as its not so far on a ferry for me.

    How do you find the suitability of these trails to heavyweight adventure bikes? Would you rather be on a 500-600 single? How much offroad experience do you guys have?

    Not sure I'd want to tackle some of that stuff on my 1050 loaded up.... I'd love to do some more adventurous routes on my bike but feel intimidated by the weight, might just take a backpack and hire a dirtbike.
    #5
  6. Scooterpt

    Scooterpt GS 800 Adv

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Oddometer:
    20
    Location:
    Lisbon, Portugal
    I don't have any experience and this is 100% doable on a big adv bike, we were all on 800s and one on a 1200. To me personally the only problem was descends with loose rock, and by day 3 I was doing those better each time (as long as you don't stop, trust the bike to do its thing it was working out)

    I would say a 500 or 600cc you would do this faster, but this is 100% a tourist offroad trail, to be done moderate speed, stop frequently and see the view
    #6
  7. BristolDSer

    BristolDSer Brit riding a KTM 1050 Adventure

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2015
    Oddometer:
    91
    Location:
    Bristol
    Nice, will have a think about it. Got plenty of experience on trail/enduro bikes but not adv bikes.

    What puts me off a little is the cast wheels on my 1050, but reckon they'd be up to mild stuff.

    Anyone got a gopro in your crew?
    #7
    Scooterpt likes this.
  8. Scooterpt

    Scooterpt GS 800 Adv

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Oddometer:
    20
    Location:
    Lisbon, Portugal
    So, last day for me was the 3rd day, that would go from Serra da Estrela do Alamal (Tagus River), we got up a bit late and started looking for the track, luckily we were right on course with the track, so we caught a great dirt track that ran on the side of the mountain downwards off the mountain.

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    This last day to me was the longest day, and also the most breathtaking as we ran up and down mountains all day, a lot of diferente terrains as well

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    And also included the "Parque Eólico da Gardunha", we did the whole of the track seen below:

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    Here we took a slight rest ;)

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    Was by far the longest day, ended up having lunch in the middle of the track

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    Belvar castle, near the end of day 3
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle_of_Belver
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    And the end, the river "beach" at Alamal

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    Hopefully this year I will be able to do days 4 and 5 ;)
    #8
  9. Scooterpt

    Scooterpt GS 800 Adv

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Oddometer:
    20
    Location:
    Lisbon, Portugal
    Yes, I am editing the video this week, is taking longer than expected :D as soon as I have it up Ill link to it here
    #9
    BristolDSer likes this.
  10. RhinoVonHawkrider

    RhinoVonHawkrider Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,079
    Location:
    Eastern Pa
    Great stuff - I'm factoring to hit Portugal / Espana very soon after retirement - find a place to live - get a used dual sport & travel around the continent.

    Love the food!! I've dined with your cousins in Newark.

    Polvo grelhado e vinho tinto

    Awesome pics - thanks for sharing
    #10
  11. Scooterpt

    Scooterpt GS 800 Adv

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Oddometer:
    20
    Location:
    Lisbon, Portugal
    Haha, I used to live in New Jersey, so I literally have cousins in Newark :D
    #11
    TheBritAbroad likes this.
  12. RhinoVonHawkrider

    RhinoVonHawkrider Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,079
    Location:
    Eastern Pa
    Lmao of course you do - it's either there or Masshole

    So many great places in Newark but this place should be locked up for selling such great rolls.

    Teixeira's Bakery - my filha goes crazy when I bring the Chop Rolls home.
    #12
  13. Scooterpt

    Scooterpt GS 800 Adv

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Oddometer:
    20
    Location:
    Lisbon, Portugal
    It's going to take me a while to get all of these up on youtube, but here goes the first, actually the day before the first of the ACT, it's on our way up from Lisbon to Bragança
    #13
    TheBritAbroad likes this.
  14. Scooterpt

    Scooterpt GS 800 Adv

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Oddometer:
    20
    Location:
    Lisbon, Portugal
    Here is day 1 on ACT Portugal, from Bragança to Torre de Moncorvo ;)
    #14
    TheBritAbroad likes this.
  15. Scooterpt

    Scooterpt GS 800 Adv

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Oddometer:
    20
    Location:
    Lisbon, Portugal
    Here is day 2 of ACT, going from Torre de Moncorvo to Vale do Rossim (Serra da Estrela), unfortunately the day was cut short by a massive rain storm, so we missed around half of the track and ended up riding directly to Serra da Estrela.

    #15
    Hakatan likes this.
  16. Gedrog

    Gedrog 1000 mile stare a 1000 stories to tell

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2013
    Oddometer:
    3,627
    Location:
    Lost in the Sahara
    They do love their meat in Lisbon near the Expo centre there is a restaurant call the Brazilian as long as the flag is up they keep bringing the meat awesome stuff
    #16
  17. ozmoses

    ozmoses persona non grata

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2009
    Oddometer:
    44,940
    Location:
    Blo,ME
    :thumb
    #17